May 31: Facebook a must, but tread carefully

Since Facebook opened its doors to high schoolers some time ago, you probably have an account on the social networking site already. If you don’t — get one. Facebooking, though often a tool for stalkers and procrastinators, is an asset for college students who want to find or keep in touch with old friends. That said, there are several precautions that you should take.

Most importantly, keep your profile as private as possible. Big Brother is always watching, and with Facebook he has an even better microscope. It is now no secret that job applicants are finding potential employers judging them based on their social networking profiles. The difference between you and another candidate could be whoever doesn’t have “Drinking tequila by the fifth, ditching classes and cheating on exams” listed under their interests. The privacy settings are made to fit whatever purpose you have for the site. So if you only want you friends to view your profile, lock it down and make it so. And don’t friend random people. It could be your next boss.

Also, remember, the legal drinking age is 21. Photos of you doing keg stands and playing beer pong can be considered evidence, and police and universities are using Facebook to spot underage drinking. Don’t put incriminating photos of yourself on the site, and “untag” yourself from those that friends post.